Sunday, December 18, 2022

Dear Civil Servant

I write this letter to you in the hope that you share my vision for a happier and more cooperative world.  You can see that this is my goal at if you're interested in the same thing.  I own that website.

When I filed my first tax return, it seems that I made an "election" as described at 26 CFR 1.6013-6.  I was born in the state of California, and therefore a citizen of the United States of America. I very recently came to understand that, relative to the District of Columbia ("United States" as defined at 26 USC 7701(a)(9)-(10)), I was a non-resident alien individual and not liable for the income tax except in a few cases. I did not understand that I was abandoning that status by filing the form and electing to be treated as a resident of the "United States". My citizenship in the United States of America does NOT make me liable for the income tax.  I have to choose that, and I did, but without being fully informed, and so I feel I have been defrauded.

However, at 26 CFR 1.6013-6(b)4 the Commissioner has the opportunity to correct for the misunderstanding: "An election under this section may be terminated by the Commissioner if it is determined that either spouse has failed to keep adequate records." Your IDR strongly suggests that Congress' intent in that section in the CFR was to address situations just like the one we currently have, so it certainly seems like the right thing to do.  Please let me know if the Commissioner is considering terminating my election for inadequate records as a sign of good faith in our relationship.  If not, then I will follow the instructions in section (b)(1)(iv) to revoke it on my own as 26 USC 6013(g)(4)(A) describes.

Many people feel that if citizens of the fifty states found a way to avoid paying any federal tax, the federal government would be bankrupt and therefore unable to provide whatever services they find valuable.  This is an inordinate amount of pessimism.  People willingly pay for what they want all the time.  If those who did not want federal government services stopped paying, they would end up having more money to pay to those who do, and willingly pay it, and likely more often than once or four times a year. The net result, mainly because everyone would be more respectful of each others' values and choices, but also because the velocity of money would increase, would be positive for everyone.  There would be less control, more freedom, more cooperation, and more joy for nearly everyone.  A few people would suffer from that loss of control but if we consider what kinds of situations give rise to such people, we may find that their decreased means is a welcome change.  In fact, they may also ultimately benefit from a situation that forces them to have more respect for the choices and values of others.

It is my dream to help more people see things as I have described them, and raise the probability of that world coming to be.  That can continue with you just by sharing this letter with other civil servants.  Thank you for letting me share it with you.

Dave Scotese.

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